ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan football has itself a quarterback controversy, and though, for the most part, the players are saying the right thing, after Week 1’s game against Colorado State, perhaps Cade McNamara is tired of answering questions.
McNamara started against the Rams, but will be the backup in Week 2’s tilt against Hawaii. J.J. McCarthy will be the first man up for that game. Jim Harbaugh said after evaluating both quarterbacks with each having a start of their own under their belt, he hopes he’ll have a final starting quarterback in Week 3.
As McNamara notes, there likely will not be the in-game carousel we saw a year ago, when Michigan won the Big Ten championship.
“Coach mentioned that he wanted to — he doesn’t really want to do this switching this year,” McNamara said. “However it shakes out, that’s just how it’s gonna be.”
The last time McNamara spoke to the media, he was named a team captain — seemingly an omen that it was still his job to lose. But, now he has to wait to see how McCarthy performs against a not-so-great Hawaii team and hope for the best.
“I would definitely say it’s pretty unusual,” McNamara said. “It was kind of a thing that I wasn’t expecting by the end of camp. I thought I had my best camp. I thought I put myself in a good position. And that was the decision that coach went with.”
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That said, what does he think? Does he feel like he did enough to earn the starting job?
Based on how he did behind closed doors in fall camp, he feels like he had earned the right to continue on as the Wolverines’ starter.
“I was confident with the way I performed over camp, definitely felt that way,” McNamara said. “However, it’s just not my decision. So whatever it is, however, you know, whatever my role is, I’m honored that my teammates recognize me for the role that I have currently. And that’s about it.”
Regardless of his performance against Colorado State — McNamara went 9-for-18 for 136 yards and a touchdown — he gained a vote of confidence from his head coach, as Jim Harbaugh noted that many of his throws were on the money, but dropped by the receivers.
Multiple early-game targets of Cornelius Johnson and another to Ronnie Bell, were in the right place, but the receivers didn’t come up with the catch.
“Yeah, I thought he was really good,” Harbaugh said. “He had a couple balls that were dropped. But just very good, doing — executing, as I said. No issues. You’ve gotta give credit to the quarterback as well when that’s taking place on offense. Moved the football, scored points and thought he had a really good game.”
We’ll know more about what to expect from the Michigan quarterback carousel next week, when Hawaii comes to town. That game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network with an 8 p.m. EDT kick.